How Long Does a Restraining Order Stay on Your Record? It Depends (on This)

Background check repair icon.Written by Background Check Repair

Criminal Records | October 28, 2022

Man holding out a large magnifying glass to a computer that is displaying restraining order records and looking at a calendar with its pages flipping to show the passing of time and wondering how long does a restraining order stay on your record.

How long does a restraining order stay on your record? Many individuals who have been the recipient of a restraining order want to know if the order will be part of what shows up on a background check. Others, who want restraining orders for their protection, want to know how long they’ll last.

How long a restraining order is on your record depends on a few different factors, specifically on the state law where the order is issued.

Generally, having a restraining order filed is not a crime itself and will only appear on a criminal record check if the restraining order is violated and the individual is charged. And, anyone can check their record by performing a free criminal history check on themselves.

However, since the record can be accessed in more detail for some types of checks, knowing the answer to how long a restraining order stays on your record can be tricky. This guide outlines the law in all 50 states.

How Long Does a Restraining Order Stay on Your Record?

When it comes to how long does a restraining order stay on your record, many individuals will be surprised at how simple the answer is. A restraining order is not technically a crime, so there is no reason for a restraining order to appear on an individual’s criminal record.

However, if a crime was committed that led to a restraining order being filed, such as domestic violence, these charges will appear on a criminal record.

Screenshot of NH Judicial Branch website page with yellow arrow pointing to information about orders of protection and restraining orders

Each state has its own laws and regulations pertaining to restraining orders and protection orders, how they are used and how long they remain active.

Individuals who are unsure of whether or not they have certain information on their criminal record should perform a background check on themselves using the search bar at the top of this page. Besides this free background check method, individuals can also pay to have an official state background check performed using the list below.

Related Reading: How to Get a Criminal Background Check on Yourself or Others in 2022

Does a Restraining Order Go on Your Record?Criminal Record Check In all 50 States
Does a Restraining Order Go on Your Record Alabama (AL)?Criminal Record Check In Alabama (AL)
Does a Restraining Order Go on Your Record Alaska (AK)?Criminal Record Check In Alaska (AK)
Does a Restraining Order Go on Your Record Arizona (AZ)?Criminal Record Check In Arizona (AZ)1
Does a Restraining Order Go on Your Record Arkansas (AR)?Criminal Record Check In Arkansas (AR) 
Does a Restraining Order Go on Your Record California (CA)?Criminal Record Check In California (CA)
Does a Restraining Order Go on Your Record Colorado (CO)?Criminal Record Check In Colorado (CO)
Does a Restraining Order Go on Your Record Connecticut (CT)?Criminal Record Check In Connecticut (CT)2
Does a Restraining Order Go on Your Record Delaware (DE)?Criminal Record Check In Delaware (DE)
Does a Restraining Order Go on Your Record Florida (FL)?Criminal Record Check In Florida (FL)
Does a Restraining Order Go on Your Record Georgia (GA)?Criminal Record Check In Georgia (GA)
Does a Restraining Order Go on Your Record Hawaii (HI)?Criminal Record Check In Hawaii (HI)
Does a Restraining Order Go on Your Record Idaho (ID)?Criminal Record Check In Idaho (ID)
Does a Restraining Order Go on Your Record Illinois (IL)?Criminal Record Check In Illinois (IL)
Does a Restraining Order Go on Your Record Indiana (IN)?Criminal Record Check In Indiana (IN)
Does a Restraining Order Go on Your Record Iowa (IA)?Criminal Record Check In Iowa (IA)
Does a Restraining Order Go on Your Record Kansas (KS)?Criminal Record Check In Kansas (KS)3
Does a Restraining Order Go on Your Record Kentucky (KY)?Criminal Record Check In Kentucky (KY)
Does a Restraining Order Go on Your Record Louisiana (LA)?Criminal Record Check In Louisiana (LA)
Does a Restraining Order Go on Your Record Maine (ME)?Criminal Record Check In Maine (ME)
Does a Restraining Order Go on Your Record Massachusetts (MA)?Criminal Record Check In Massachusetts (MA)
Does a Restraining Order Go on Your Record Maryland (MD)?Criminal Record Check In Maryland (MD)
Does a Restraining Order Go on Your Record Michigan (MI)?Criminal Record Check In Michigan (MI)
Does a Restraining Order Go on Your Record Minnesota (MN)?Criminal Record Check In Minnesota (MN)
Does a Restraining Order Go on Your Record Mississippi (MS)?Criminal Record Check In Mississippi (MS)4
Does a Restraining Order Go on Your Record Missouri (MO)?Criminal Record Check In Missouri (MO)
Does a Restraining Order Go on Your Record Montana (MT)?Criminal Record Check In Montana (MT)
Does a Restraining Order Go on Your Record Nebraska (NE)?Criminal Record Check In Nebraska (NE)
Does a Restraining Order Go on Your Record Nevada (NV)?Criminal Record Check In Nevada (NV)
Does a Restraining Order Go on Your Record New Hampshire (NH)?Criminal Record Check In New Hampshire (NH)
Does a Restraining Order Go on Your Record New Jersey (NJ)?Criminal Record Check In New Jersey (NJ)10
Does a Restraining Order Go on Your Record New Mexico (NM)?Criminal Record Check In New Mexico (NM)
Does a Restraining Order Go on Your Record New York (NY)?Criminal Record Check In New York (NY)
Does a Restraining Order Go on Your Record North Carolina (NC)?Criminal Record Check In North Carolina (NC)
Does a Restraining Order Go on Your Record North Dakota (ND)?Criminal Record Check In North Dakota (ND)
Does a Restraining Order Go on Your Record Ohio (OH)?Criminal Record Check In Ohio (OH)
Does a Restraining Order Go on Your Record Oklahoma (OK)?Criminal Record Check In Oklahoma (OK)
Does a Restraining Order Go on Your Record Oregon (OR)?Criminal Record Check In Oregon (OR)
Does a Restraining Order Go on Your Record Pennsylvania (PA)?Criminal Record Check In Pennsylvania (PA)5
Does a Restraining Order Go on Your Record Rhode Island (RI)?Criminal Record Check In Rhode Island (RI)
Does a Restraining Order Go on Your Record South Carolina (SC)?Criminal Record Check In South Carolina (SC)
Does a Restraining Order Go on Your Record South Dakota (SD)?Criminal Record Check In South Dakota (SD)
Does a Restraining Order Go on Your Record Tennessee (TN)?Criminal Record Check In Tennessee (TN)
Does a Restraining Order Go on Your Record Texas (TX)?Criminal Record Check In Texas (TX)6
Does a Restraining Order Go on Your Record Utah (UT)?Criminal Record Check In Utah (UT)
Does a Restraining Order Go on Your Record Vermont (VT)?Criminal Record Check In Vermont (VT)
Does a Restraining Order Go on Your Record Virginia (VA)?Criminal Record Check In Virginia (VA)
Does a Restraining Order Go on Your Record Washington (WA)?Criminal Record Check In Washington (WA)7
Does a Restraining Order Go on Your Record West Virginia (WV)?Criminal Record Check In West Virginia (WV)8
Does a Restraining Order Go on Your Record Wisconsin (WI)?Criminal Record Check In Wisconsin (WI)
Does a Restraining Order Go on Your Record Wyoming (WY)?Criminal Record Check In Wyoming (WY)9

Does an Order of Protection Go on Your Record?

Some individuals may have questions like does an order of protection go on your record? Orders of protection and restraining orders are often used interchangeably, and the law is the same for both. An order of protection is not a crime and thus will not appear in the criminal record unless the order is violated.

How Long Does a Temporary Restraining Order Stay on Your Record?

Although many individuals may be able to answer the question of how long does a restraining order stay on your record, the question of how long does a temporary restraining order stay on your record may be confusing.

The answer is the same for both: any restraining order that is filed will not appear on a criminal record unless the order is violated which will result in misdemeanor charges being filed.

Screenshot of California Courts website page with yellow arrow pointing to what does a restraining order do

In some states, like California, the order itself can be varied, such as what “no contact” actually means and when the order applies, and how it is violated.

Related Reading: How Long Does A Misdemeanor Stay On Your Record? (How to Erase)

Does a Domestic Violence Restraining Order Show Up on a Background Check for Employment?

When wondering does a domestic violence restraining order shows up on a background check for employment, the thing to understand is whether or not the order was the result of a criminal charge. If the order was issued because of an incident and the person was arrested, then yes, the order will usually show up on a criminal background check.

What Happens if Someone Files a Restraining Order Against You?

Being asked to appear in civil court can be intimidating and many will be wondering, what happens if someone files a restraining order against you?

Generally, both parties will need to appear in civil court to work out the details and explain the situation to a judge. If the order is filed, the individual it was filed against will need to obey the order or face criminal charges.

How Does a Restraining Order Work?

When it comes to the matter of how does a restraining order work? It is usually quite simple.

The order will lay out specific guidelines that individuals must follow regarding how much contact they are allowed with the individual, if any. This will involve contact of any kind, not just in person, and any violation of this order is considered a misdemeanor at the very least.

Screenshot of City of Phoenix website page with yellow arrow pointing to Information about protective orders

In Arizona, protection orders are used to issue immediate protection, usually within 24 hours.

 

Use the list below to learn more about protective order laws in each state.

 

How Long Does a Restraining Order Last?How Long Does a Protection Order Last?
How Long Does a Restraining Order Last In Alabama (AL)Protective Orders: 30-365 Days
Restraining Orders: 2+ years
How Long Does a Restraining Order Last In Alaska (AK)Emergency Protective Orders: 72 hours
Ex Parte Protective Orders: 20 days
Final Protective Orders: 1 year or until “further order of the court”
How Long Does a Restraining Order Last In Arizona (AZ)Protective Orders: 1 year
Restraining Orders: 1 year
How Long Does a Restraining Order Last In Arkansas (AR)No-Contact Protection Orders: Until the case ends
Temporary Protection Orders: 30 days
Final Protection Orders: 90 days and at most 10 years
How Long Does a Restraining Order Last In California (CA)Emergency Protective Orders: 7 Calendar Days or 5 business days, whichever is shorter
Temporary Restraining Orders: 15 days
Domestic Violence Restraining Orders: 5 years
How Long Does a Restraining Order Last In Colorado (CO)Temporary Protection Order: 14 days to 1 year
Permanent Protection Orders: May be granted after hearing
How Long Does a Restraining Order Last In Connecticut (CT)Protective Orders: 1 year
Restraining Orders: 6 Months
How Long Does a Restraining Order Last In Delaware (DE)Temporary Orders: 30 days
Permanent Orders: 2 years
How long does a restraining order last in Florida (FL)Protective Orders: 1 year
Restraining Orders: 15 Days
How Long Does a Restraining Order Last In Georgia (GA)Temporary Protective Order: Expire in 6-12 Months
Extended Restraining Order: Must Petition Courts for Permanent Order
How Long Does a Restraining Order Last In Hawaii (HI)Protective Orders: 3 years
Restraining Orders: 180 Days
How Long Does a Restraining Order Last In Idaho (ID)Protective Orders: 1 year
Restraining Orders: 14 Days
How Long Does a Restraining Order Last In Illinois (IL)Protective Orders: 2 years
Restraining Orders: 14 to 30 Days
How Long Does a Restraining Order Last In Indiana (IN)Between 6 months and 2 years
How Long Does a Restraining Order Last In Iowa (IA)Protective Orders: 1 year
Restraining Orders: lasts until the next order from the court
How Long Does a Restraining Order Last In Kansas (KS)Protective Orders: 1 Year
Restraining Orders: 1 year
How Long Does a Restraining Order Last In Kentucky (KY)Emergency Protective Orders: 14 Days
Domestic Violence Orders: 3 years
How Long Does a Restraining Order Last In Louisiana (LA)Protective Orders: 3 months-18 months
Restraining Orders: 180 days
How Long Does a Restraining Order Last In Maine (ME)Temporary Protection Order: 21 days
Final Protection Order: 2 years
  
How Long Does a Restraining Order Last In Massachusetts (MA)Restraining Orders: 1-year up to the judge may make the order lifetime.
How Long Does a Restraining Order Last In Maryland (MD)Interim Protective Orders: lasts until a judge holds a temporary hearing
Temporary Protective Orders: 7 Days
Final Protective Orders: 1 year to lifetime if certain circumstances are met
How Long Does a Restraining Order Last In Michigan (MI)Protective Orders: 6 months – 1 year
How Long Does a Restraining Order Last In Minnesota (MN)Restraining Orders: two years, but you may petition to have it extended if you need further protection once the order expires.
How Long Does a Restraining Order Last In Mississippi (MS)Emergency Protection Order: 10 days
Temporary Protection Order: maximum 30 days (if you and the abuser have minor children together) and 30 days up to a maximum of one year (if you do not have minor children together)
Final Protective Orders: Until such time that the judge believes is appropriate. The expiration date will be clearly written on the order
Temporary Restraining Orders: 10 to 20 days
Long-Term Restraining Orders: 3 years
How Long Does a Restraining Order Last In Missouri (MO)Ex Parte Protective Orders: 15 Days
Full Protective Orders: 180 Days to 1 Year (However, it can last between two years and ten years if the judge issues specific written findings)
How Long Does a Restraining Order Last In Montana (MT)Temporary Protection Orders: 20 days
Final Protection Orders: last for a specific period of time or remain in effect permanently
How Long Does a Restraining Order Last In Nebraska (NE)Ex Parte Protective Orders: 10 to 30 Days
Final Protective Orders: 1 Year but can be renewed
How Long Does a Restraining Order Last In Nevada (NV)Temporary Protection Orders: 30 days
Extended Protection Orders: 1 year
How Long Does a Restraining Order Last In New Hampshire (NH)How long does a protection order last in New Hampshire:
Protective Orders: 1 year, may be extended
How Long Does a Restraining Order Last In New Jersey (NJ)Initial Protective Orders: until the next court hearing
Protective Orders: As long of a duration as is necessary
Restraining Orders: No Expiry
How Long Does a Restraining Order Last In New Mexico (NM)Emergency Protective Orders: 72 hours, or until the close of the next business day; whichever of those is later
Temporary Protective Orders: 10 Days
Permanent Protective Orders: Up to 6 months but will continue until such time that one party asks for a modification or cancellation of the order
How Long Does a Restraining Order Last In New York (NY)Temporary Restraining Orders: Until the last court date but can be extended until the matter is resolved
Protection Orders: up to 5 years
How Long Does a Restraining Order Last In North Carolina (NC)Ex Parte Domestic Violence Protective Orders: 7 to 10 Days
Final Protective Domestic Violence Orders: 1 Year but can ask the court to extend the order for an additional two years (with the exception of the custody provisions)
Temporary Civil No-Contact Orders: 10 Days
Permanent Civil No-Contact Orders: 1 Year
Permanent Civil No-Contact Orders for Victims of Registered Sex Offenders: Lifetime
How Long Does a Restraining Order Last In North Dakota (ND)No Contact Orders (NCO): Expire After 72 Hours
NCO: Kept on File with Law Enforcement for One Year.
Disorderly Conduct Restraining Order (DCRO): 2 years   
How Long Does a Restraining Order Last In Ohio (OH)Ex parte order: last until the hearing
Civil Protection Order: up to 5 years
How Long Does a Restraining Order Last In Oklahoma (OK)Temporary Restraining Orders: last only until the courthouse closes the first day
Final Protection Orders: up to 5 years
How Long Does a Restraining Order Last In Oregon (OR)Restraining Orders: 1 Year from the date the judge signed it.
How Long Does a Restraining Order Last In Pennsylvania (PA)Emergency Protection Order: Until the next business day
Ex Parte Temporary Protection from Abuse Order (PFA): Until your full court hearing for the final PFA where the abuser has an opportunity to testify and present evidence
Final Protection from Abuse Order (PFA): Up to 3 years and can be extended under certain circumstances
How Long Does a Restraining Order Last In Rhode Island (RI)Temporary Restraining Order: up 21 days (can be extended)
Orders of Protection: up to 3 years (can be extended)
How Long Does a Restraining Order Last In South Carolina (SC)Temporary Order of Protection: up to 15 days
Final Order of Protection: minimum of six months and a maximum of one year after which it can be extended or terminated by the court
How Long Does a Restraining Order Last In South Dakota (SD)Temporary Orders: up to 1 month but can be extended until hearing
Final Protection Order: up to 5 years
How Long Does a Restraining Order Last In Tennessee (TN)Ex Parte Order of Protection: up to 15 days
Temporary Order of Protection: depends upon the court but does not exceed 1 year
How Long Does a Restraining Order Last In Texas (TX)Protective Orders: 2 Years
Temporary Restraining Orders: 14 Days
How Long Does a Restraining Order Last In Utah (UT)Protective Orders: 150 Days
Temporary Restraining Orders: 14 Days
How Long Does a Restraining Order Last In Vermont (VT)Temporary Relief Orders: up to 14 days
Permanent Relief Orders: Depends upon the court
How Long Does a Restraining Order Last In Virginia (VA)Protective Orders: 2 years
Restraining Orders: 15 days 
How Long Does a Restraining Order Last In Washington (WA)Ex parte temporary order: up to 24 days
Final Order for Protection: up to 1 year but can be extended through application
How Long Does a Restraining Order Last In West Virginia (WV)Emergency Protective Order: up to 10 days but may be extended until the next hearing
Final Protective Order: 3 months up to 1 year
How Long Does a Restraining Order Last In Wisconsin (WI)Permanent Restraining Order: 2 – 4 years but can last up to 10 years
Temporary Restraining Orders: 14 Days
How Long Does a Restraining Order Last In Wyoming (WY)Ex parte temporary order of protection: up to 72 hours
Final domestic violence order of protection: up to 3 years and can be extended for up to 3 years each time

What Happens if a Restraining Order Is Not Served?

In regards to the question of what if a restraining order is not served? The answer is fairly complicated and will likely be worked out between the judge and any lawyers involved. However, it can be difficult to charge someone with a protective order violation if they did not know about the order in the first place.

What To Expect at a Restraining Order Hearing?

Some people will want to know what to expect at a restraining order hearing in order to prepare. Generally, a protective order hearing will involve sworn testimony from both parties to a judge that explains the circumstances that led to the order being requested.

Screenshot of NE Judicial Branch with yellow arrow pointing on how to prepare for a protection order hearing

Go to your state’s judicial website to gain information about what to bring to court and how to prepare.

In most cases, there will be an initial hearing where the judge may grant a temporary order, followed by a full hearing where the judge will decide if a permanent order is necessary.

Can You Lose Your Job if You Have a Restraining Order?

A common question when an individual gets served with a protection order is: Can you lose your job if you have a restraining order? Although it is possible, most employers will not even be aware of the order, due to it being a civil matter. However, it may have an impact on jobs with stricter requirements, such as those that require security clearance.

What Happens When a Restraining Order Expires?

Some people wondering what happens when a restraining order expires will want to know if they can renew the restraining order. When a protective order expires, all of the components of the order expire with it. This means that if a restraining order prevents someone from contacting another individual or their children, that individual is now legally allowed to do so.

If this could create an unsafe situation, individuals should look into whether or not the restraining order expires automatically if a judge’s approval to end the order is needed. Some states also allow individuals to renew protective orders before the order expires.

How Long Does a Restraining Order Stay on Your Record?

One of the first questions that an individual will have that has had a protective order filed against them is how long does a restraining order stay on your record? In most cases, a restraining order will not appear on a criminal record. Since a restraining order is not a crime, then there would be no reason for it to show up on a criminal history check. However, any crime relating to the restraining order such as domestic violence or crimes that were a result of the order being violated will appear on the individual’s record.

How To Get a Restraining Order off Your Record

Individuals wondering how to get a restraining order off your record may be pleased to learn that it should not appear on a criminal record in the first place.

However, if the order was violated, the resulting misdemeanor charge will show up on the individual’s record.

Screenshot of MA website page with yellow arrow pointing to information on how to find out if a criminal record can be expunge

Some criminal records can be expunged so that they don’t show up on background checks, but each state designates whether this may apply to restraining and harassment orders.

Those hoping to get a protective order violation off their criminal record, whether it is just a charge or a conviction, will need to rely on getting the records sealed or expunged. Both of these processes are fairly difficult to achieve but there are state laws that make the sealing of records easier in certain cases, such as when the individual is a first offender or if the charges were dropped before a conviction was reached.

How To Expunge a Restraining Order

Many people will want to know how to expunge a restraining order from their record, but this process is extremely difficult and even impossible in certain cases. States only grant expungements in extremely rare cases. However, getting the record sealed rather than expunged is often a far easier process that will have a similar effect on the individual’s record.

Getting a record sealed is not an easy process either but many states have developed programs to make the process easier for certain offenders.

Will a Restraining Order Affect My Security Clearance?

Oftentimes individuals will be worried about how a restraining order will affect their background check and thus their work life. Although a restraining order will not show up on a typical background check, it can affect the work of certain individuals.

Individuals wondering: Will a restraining order affect my security clearance background check the answer is it very likely will. Security clearance checks are notoriously thorough and the individual’s domestic life will be investigated and any restraining orders will likely play a major factor in the individual’s clearance level.

Is a Restraining Order a Criminal Charge?

Another common question when it comes to protective orders is: Is a restraining order a criminal charge? Restraining or protective orders are a civil matter, rather than a criminal one. Unless the order is violated, no criminal charges will be brought against the individual.

Can You Look Up Restraining Orders Online?

When it comes to looking up restraining orders online, the answer will depend on a few different factors. Most notably, whether or not the order was sealed. Although most court documents are part of the public record, including civil matters, protective orders are often sealed.

 

Individuals can use a court document search using the name of one of the individuals to see if any documents are available.

Restraining Order Background Check

Individuals can perform a restraining order background check on an individual that they suspect has a restraining order against them. This can be done using the free public records search at the top of this page. Keep in mind that sealed records will not be present on a background check.

How Long Does a Restraining Order Stay on Your Record? Check Restraining Order Status

Individuals involved in a protective order can check restraining order status using the court where it was filed. Even if the document was sealed, the individuals involved will still be able to access it.

Having a protective order filed against you is a serious matter, but individuals that are wondering, how long does a restraining order stay on your record, can rest easy knowing that so long as the order is not violated, their record will remain clean.

Frequently Asked Questions About How Long Does a Restraining Order Stay on Your Record

Does a Restraining Order Stay on Your Record Forever?

Restraining orders will only appear on an individual’s record if they were charged for violating the order, otherwise, it will remain a civil matter.

What Happens if a Protective Order Is Not Served?

A protective order that has not been served is a complicated legal matter. It is often difficult to file charges against an individual for violating an order that they did not know about.

How Long Does a Restraining Order Stay on Your Record?

A restraining order does not stay on an individual’s criminal record unless violated.


References

1Arizona Department. Criminal History Records. Arizona Department of Public Safety. Retrieved October 28, 2022, from <https://www.azdps.gov/services/public/records/criminal>

2Connecticut Gov. Background Checks. CT.gov. Retrieved October 28, 2022, from <https://portal.ct.gov/DCF/Background-Checks/Home>

3Idaho Criminal History Unit | Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. Retrieved October 28, 2022, from <https://healthandwelfare.idaho.gov/chu>

4Criminal History Record Search. Kansas.gov. Retrieved October 28, 2022, from <https://www.kansas.gov/kbi/criminalhistory/>

5Criminal History Checks – Mississippi State Department of Health. Mississippi State Department of Health. Retrieved October 28, 2022, from <https://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/30,0,206.html>

6Criminal History Background Check. Pennsylvania State Police. Retrieved October 28, 2022, from <https://www.psp.pa.gov/Pages/Criminal-History-Background-Check.aspx>

7Contact DFPS Background Checks. Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. Retrieved October 28, 2022, from <https://www.dfps.state.tx.us/Background_Checks/>

8Criminal History – WSP. Washington State Patrol. Retrieved October 28, 2022, from <https://www.wsp.wa.gov/crime/criminal-history/>

9Home – Background Checks/Applicant Tracking System. Retrieved October 28, 2022, from <https://wyomingdci.wyo.gov/criminal-justice-information-services-cjis/background-checksapplicant-tracking-system>

10New Jersey Criminal History Records Information | New Jersey State Police. NJ.gov. Retrieved October 28, 2022, from <https://nj.gov/njsp/criminal-history-records/>

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